The Origins of the Universe: Why Is There Something Rather than Nothing?

Panel Discussion October 14, 2014

Perhaps the greatest mystery is why the universe exists in the first place. How is it possible for something to emerge from nothing, or has a universe in some form always existed? This question of origins — both of the universe as a whole and of the fundamental laws of physics — raises profound scientific, philosophical, and religious questions, culminating in the most basic existential question of all: Why are we here?


  • Steve Paulson Journalist and Executive Producer, TTBOOK
  • David Z. Albert Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University
  • Jim Holt Writer, Essayist, and Critic
  • Neil Turok Director, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics


  • Tuesday, October 14, 2014
  • 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
  • The New York Academy of Sciences
    7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich Street, 40th Floor


This volume brings together leading physicists, philosophers and writers to explore the relevance of modern-day physics to our understanding of perennial questions confronting human existence.

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About This Series

This event is part of the Beyond the Big Bang: Searching for Meaning in Contemporary Physics series, which brings together leading physicists, philosophers, historians, and writers to explore the multiple scientific and philosophical dimensions suggested by modern physics, including how recent discoveries are impacting our enduring search for meaning in the universe.



  • Why Is the Multiverse Theory So Popular? Oct 14, 2014 09:29 9379
  • Scientists vs Philosophers Oct 14, 2014 06:05 121173
  • Neil Turok Explains The Cyclic Universe Theory Oct 14, 2014 04:50 34145
  • Where Do the Laws of Physics Come From? Oct 14, 2014 02:28 20380
  • Can Physics Tell Us How Something Can Come From Nothing? Oct 14, 2014 03:26 31924
  • Can We Know What Happened Before the Big Bang? Oct 14, 2014 02:27 2956
  • Neil Turok on the Theory of Cosmological Inflation Oct 14, 2014 06:50 4879
  • Why Understanding the Origins of the Universe is Important Oct 14, 2014 01:29 1838
  • Could the Universe Have Come From Nothing? Oct 14, 2014 07:03 8448
  • The Observer Effect in Quantum Mechanics Oct 14, 2014 04:02 143299
  • Neil Turok on His Approach to Theoretical Physics Oct 14, 2014 04:36 4376
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